Do you remember when birthdays were a great event, something looked forward to with great joy? The anticipation of a cake, maybe a party and even a present or two made it feel like Christmas all over again. We would proudly tell people we were celebrating another birthday and we would joyfully declare to all who would listen how old we would be.
My, has that changed! Now we would rather skip our birthday, and please no celebration. When asked how old we are we mumble something so quickly no one quite knows what you said. Just yesterday we were young, full of vitality and energy. Now we are full of aches and pains. Sigh. Please don’t mention that it is my birthday….
Some people I know have hit milestone birthdays, you know the ones they have specific cards for in the card shop! Still they are not too happy to be celebrating yet another birthday!
So as I reflect on this desire to ignore birthdays, I decided that, first of all, your age is just a number (unless, of course you turn 18 and can now drive, or 65 and now draw a pension!). But on your birthday, if you wake up feeling blue, look in the mirror and guess what? You will look exactly like you did yesterday when you looked in the mirror. The fact is, nothing much has really changed.
Second, take a look backwards, and reflect on the years you have already lived (for some of us that is getting to be a big number). Reflect on all the great things you have seen and done, and give thanks to God for this. If He did not give you life, you would not have had all those experiences. So thank Him… (The sad days? This is not the time to dwell on those… maybe another day!)
As a Christian you can celebrate that you are one year closer to home – but for some that might be too much. We all want to live forever on earth – not possible.
Okay, why not focus on the wonderful things in your life now – your family, your friends, your church, the health you do have (don’t focus on what is hurting today), and most of all, give thanks that you are loved by God who gave His Son to grant you eternal life. (Not a bad birthday present!)
So, if it is your birthday (now, or soon) I leave you this word: “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)
– Pastor Gary